Bears

Bears WR Kendall Wright looking for career restart with OC Dowell Loggains

Bears WR Kendall Wright looking for career restart with OC Dowell Loggains

Wide receiver Kendall Wright chose to sign with the Bears this offseason for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was a $4 million contract in a market that did not favor many receivers with extended deals and big guarantees.
 
In this case, however, the Bears offered an opportunity for Wright to reconnect with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, who held that position and that of passing-game coordinator with the Tennessee Titans during Wright's first two NFL seasons coming out of Baylor – seasons that saw the best catch totals of his career: 63 as a rookie in 2012, 94 in 2013.
 
For Wright, Loggains' less-is-more mindset suited the former No. 1 pick (20th overall) coming out of an improve offense with Baylor teammate Robert Griffin III.
 
"Dowell is just 'get open,'" Wright said on Wednesday via conference call. "He's not doing anything special; I just think I fit in the offense he runs pretty well. He put no limitations on my game. He didn't just tell me to play 'slot.' He let me play whatever I wanted to play, whatever position. The more you can do with him, the better you'll be."
 
The Titans had picked up the fifth-year option on Wright's rookie contract in 2015 for $7.32 million. But he was in the midst of the misfortune of playing with a quarterback dogpile in Tennessee, with the Titans using nine different quarterbacks over the span of his five seasons, including such luminaries as Alex Tanney, Jake Locker and Rusty Smith.
 
For that reason, working and developing a relationship with fellow new Bear quarterback Mike Glennon, who'd already been in touch with the receiver group via text, was not a negative. "I don't think it'll take long," Wright said, citing his experience with the Tennessee quarterback musical chairs.
 
Wright agreed to a one-year contract for a reported $4 million, another situation of the Bears bringing in a veteran but with very clear prove-it requirements. He was considered a deep threat coming into the draft, running 40-yard-dash times in the 4.4-seconds twice after a slow time at the NFL Scouting Combine.
 
He was hampered early last season by a hamstring injury, and he was a late-season scratch for missing a team meeting. He cleaned out his locker in the Titans facility at the end of the year, and said he did not expect to be in their plans for 2017, telling reporters with some emotion, "I never seen a day where I would be talking about leaving the Titans ... I mean, I never really thought about that day, it just snuck up on me, really," Wright said. "This whole year I just stayed positive and just did what I [could to] be a pro and help these young guys. They got a lot of talent and they'll be really good in the future."
 
Now his focus has turned to a new group of young receivers, another part of the attraction in Chicago, Wright said. "I think, really just the young receivers they have and a hungry quarterback in Mike Glennon, who hasn't played much but you know he can sling it."

Former GM says Matt Nagy will lose his job if Bears don't trade for QB

Former GM says Matt Nagy will lose his job if Bears don't trade for QB

There have been some strong takes on Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky over the last 24 hours, but none have been stronger than former NFL general manager Mike Lombardi's.

Lombardi, who now contributes to The Athletic, has always been a harsh critic of Trubisky. He's never believed in the former North Carolina product's ability to become a franchise quarterback and has taken often taken shots at the Bears' signal-caller.

And while Lombardi's never-ending lamenting of Trubisky sometimes comes across as agenda-driven, it's hard to dismiss his negativity at this point. Trubisky hasn't given Bears fans much ammunition to defend him. Now, with the offense hitting rock bottom against the Saints in Week 7, Lombardi is at it again.

This time, he has coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace in his crosshairs.

"If the Bears don’t make a trade for a quarterback, Nagy will lose his job within a year, and the team will never reach its full potential," Lombardi wrote on Monday. "That is not a mere guess, but a statement that has been backed up by NFL history and the experience of being in the NFL for so long.

"Making a trade might be hard internally because General Manager Ryan Pace has put his career on the line by making the move to bring Trubisky to Chicago. He traded assets to move up one spot in the draft, and it will be hard for him to admit that Trubisky cannot play. But he cannot let his ego get in the way of doing what is right. Teams cannot solve a problem if they don’t admit they have one, and Pace needs to stop lying to himself and others about his evaluation of Trubisky. The time has come." 

Suggesting that the Bears should make a trade for a quarterback before the deadline isn't the worst idea, especially because Chicago's defense is good enough to lead the team to the playoffs if there's a halfway competent quarterback under center. But it's a massive and ridiculous leap to suggest Nagy and Pace's jobs will be lost if they don't make a trade this season. Remember: Nagy was the NFL's Coach of the Year in 2018; he isn't on the hot seat. And while Pace certainly will have egg on his face for missing on Trubisky if the third-year quarterback doesn't develop (quickly), there's no reason to assume he won't get another offseason or two to get it right.

The more likely scenario, if Trubisky does, in fact, bottom out, is that Pace and the Bears will sign one of the veteran free-agent quarterbacks who will hit the open market next offseason. Players like Andy Dalton, Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota, while not world-beaters, would represent an upgrade at the position. Nagy just needs a guy who can be his Alex Smith; a game-manager who can score enough points to assist the defense. Any one of those three fit that description.

Perhaps the Bears missed on Trubisky. Maybe he'll turn it around. But to suggest Nagy and Pace won't get another swing at the position, together, is nothing more than a fiery hot take.

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With running game, Nagy makes plea for patience: "I know we need to run the ball more. I’m not an idiot"

With running game, Nagy makes plea for patience: "I know we need to run the ball more. I’m not an idiot"

Matt Nagy brought a whoooole bunch of positive energy to his Monday morning press conference at Halas Hall. 

"First of all, you will never pull me down," he said. "That's number one. Never. You won't do it. Second of all, you'll never pull our team down. It doesn't matter what we're going through. It'll never happen. Not under my watch. That's just not how we roll."

The coach's trademark brand of endless, enthusiastic optimism took a hit after Sunday's humiliating loss to New Orleans. The Bears were outclassed by a short-handed team, at home, coming off the bye week. They set the record for fewest run attempts in Bears' history. After the game Nagy said they were going to "sit in it" that night, and from the sound of his answers on Monday morning, that hadn't ended yet. 

"I know we need to run the ball more. I’m not an idiot," he said. "I realize that. Seven rushes and the minimum amount of times, I totally understand that."

"You need to do it. I never go into a game saying I want to throw the ball 54 times. I would love to go into a game and say I want to run the ball 54 times. But that hasn’t happened. This is what I have to answer to.”

You've read it all already; things are bleak. They're the 30th ranked team in every rushing category except for the ones they're ranked 29th in. Against the Saints, the Bears handed the ball off to wide recievers the same amount of times (2) they gave it to David Montgomery. No one got more rushes than Tarik Cohen (3), who said after the game that he doesn't really even consider himself a running back – and is often scouted as a reciever by opposing coaches, according to Nagy. 

"... nine catches for 19 yards, you know, that’s not where we want to be," he said. "And it’s unacceptable for all of us. We’re definitely searching right now. There’s no doubt about it. But as I said, so last night you deal with the emotions, you watch the tape last night, you see where you’re at and now for us we can’t hang on to what just happened.  We’ve got to fix it and we’ve got to understand and be aware that offensively we’ve had some bad performances now." 

Nagy knows he and the Bears are out of excuses, and having to say the same thing every Monday morning for the last month is clearly eating at him. And while there may be some more reliance on Trubisky or Mike Davis' legs (from the sounds of it, mainly the former), there's probably still an element of patience involved. (I know, I'm sorry. Please lower your voice.) 

"Right now we’re not having productive plays in the run game any way you look at it," Nagy said. "But I want positive plays. I want plays — and part of the patience is that as well. There’s no doubt about it, there’s gotta be more patience.

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